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UNEP assists the post Flood Disaster Response in the Republic of Serbia

Following severe flooding across the Balkan Peninsula in May 2014, a UN Disaster Assistance and Coordination (UNDAC) team was deployed to support emergency response work in flood-affected areas in Serbia. The Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit (JEU) mobilised environmental and landslide experts through UNDAC to identify risks and recommend mitigation measures to minimize damages.

Building on UNDAC’s initial findings, UNEP (under the lead of the Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch) deployed an environmental expert in June to support the Serbian Government in carrying out a Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) intended to inform recovery needs and assist in resource mobilization. The UNEP expert attended a two-day workshop to establish a common approach to the RNA, and led a session on environmental needs assessment. UNEP also carried out a series of field visits to priority environmental sites of concern including areas affected by landslides, the collapsed Stolice antimony tailing dam, and affected industrial and hazardous waste facilities.

In collaboration with experts from the Serbian Environmental Protection Agency, UNEP evaluated the cost of the environmental damages and losses caused by the floods. UNEP proposed an environmental recovery and reconstruction plan estimated at EUR 41.5 million aimed at implementing remediation measures in the short to medium terms. The RNA report was presented at a donor conference hosted by the European Commission on 16 July in Brussels, Belgium, where generous pledges were made.

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